Former foster mom charged with sexually abusing 4 children ruled competent to stand trial




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 Former foster mom charged with sexually abusing 4 children ruled competent to stand trial

CINCINNATI - A former foster mom for Hamilton County was ruled competent to stand trial on accusations that she sexually assaulted four children while babysitting them.

Barbara Brooks, 62, of Colerain Twp., appeared at a competency hearing Wednesday morning where that ruling was made.

Brooks is accused of sexually assaulting four children while babysitting them. She is charged with 15 counts of rape and three counts of gross sexual imposition.

Police say Brooks assaulted the children in her homes in Mt. Healthy and Springfield Twp. between 2000 and 2007.

Two alleged victims came forward in 2011.

If convicted of all the charges, she faces the possibility of spending the rest of her life in prison, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said.

Brooks was a foster parent from 1996 until 2008, according to Hamilton County Job and Family Services spokesperson Brian Gregg.

Cincinnati Police Department Fugitive Unit arrested Brooks June 7 after a relative of two alleged victims, who are now 18 and 23 years old, reported to police that the babysitter had abused them.

In 2008, a child sex abuse complaint was made against Brooks, according to Gregg. Cincinnati police investigated, but didn't file charges. Brooks resigned from the foster care program and Job and Family Services officials permanently terminated their relationship with her.

“These cases are always difficult to comprehend,” Deters said in a news release. “We are glad that the victims had the courage to come forward so that we can make sure that Brooks is never in a position to care for a child again.”

Brooks has pleaded not guilty to the charges. She will return to court Aug. 27.